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After an unobstructed view of your garden? Then bifold doors might be the answer you’ve been looking for. Unlike sliding or French doors, bifolding designs stack neatly out of the way, providing gloriously open access to the garden – and an expansive feeling inside.
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Here’s what to think about when choosing bifold doors.
How much do bifold doors cost?
You can expect to pay under £2,000 for a three-door set of uPVC bifold doors. Prices increase to around £2,500 if you’re looking at aluminium bifolds. Installation will be extra – usually around another £600, regardless of what material you choose.
How many bifold doors do I need?
The dimensions of your opening will determine the number of doors – try to go for as few as possible for clear views. Odd numbers look best – three or five are the most popular. If everyday access is required, make sure there is a single lead door that can be opened outward.
What are the best materials for bifold doors?
Enquire online: Millbrook uPVC External bi-fold door set, from £1,949, Wickes
uPVC is still the best budget-friendly choice, now available in black or dark grey finishes. But uPVC isn’t as strong as aluminium or wood, so the frames will be thicker to enable them to achieve the desirable strength – or possibly reinforced with galvanised with galvanised steel, like this .
Wood frames offer style, are a good fit with period homes, but require more maintenance, and there can be issues with warping. Whatever you choose, make sure they come with a decent guarantee of at least 10 years.
Are bifold doors weatherproof and will they make a room feel cold?
Large glass expanses can feel chilly compared to a solid wall so decent thermal performance is crucial. Look for the lowest U-values, which indicates the heat lost in watts per square metre. To comply with building regulations, bifold doors must be 1.8W/(m2k) for replacements, or 2.0W/(m2k) in new builds and extensions, but there’s nothing to stop you aiming lower – triple glazing go down to 1.3W. Ensure they pass the weathertightness test (BS 6375 Part 1).
These windows from Travis Perkins have rebated thresholds with weather protection, providing unimpeded access that’s rainproof.
Do bifold doors need a track?
Yes. Bifolds are mounted on tracks and should slide, fold and stack smoothly and with minimal force. How well your bifold doors open and close is a good judge of door quality. Visit a showroom to test and compare. Flush fitting tracks with recesses into the floor reduce trip hazards, and look slick, but beware that they can make it harder to achieve a watertight fit.
Are bifold doors safe and secure?
More options for doors: External doors – your complete guide to choosing, costing and fitting
As a large access point into your home, bifolds must conform to current security standards and the lead door must have a multi-point locking system. For extra peace of mind, invest in a lock featuring an anti-pick/drill cylinder that conforms to Police ‘Preferred by Design’ security standards. If you have small children, request finger-safe gaskets to prevent doors slamming shut on tiny hands…